Thursday: May 18, 2028
6:08 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo cracked open an eye as something touched his nose. In a way that didn’t surprise him in the slightest, he found himself staring at Acamas. He closed his eyes, reaching up with the hand that wasn’t trapped under Jensen to scratch the top of the cat’s head. She purred, laying down on his chest.
Jensen cleared his throat, shifting ever so slightly, his arm falling to Bo’s waist. Bo let out a short breath, flexing his fingers. His arm still trapped beneath Jensen’s shoulders, the slight shift had given him access to his hand again.
Bo opened his eyes, turning to look at the alarm clock on his nightstand. His alarm wouldn’t go off for another twenty minutes. He sighed quietly, turning back toward the ceiling. He kept hoping that at least one of the two algorithms would find something noteworthy, something he could actually use to find the Werewolf. He knew Jamal’s men were working on finding him, but Bo didn’t know any of Jamal’s men.
He couldn’t say he trusted them to find the killer. As far as he knew, the most impressive thing they’d ever done before was break into the Bonekeeper’s shed and took pictures after Jensen relayed the address to Jamal.
He didn’t consider that a big enough accomplishment when it came to the discovery of a killer’s name, location, or even their life story.
“Sleep,” Jensen mumbled.
“I… am working on it,” Bo assured.
“Mm.” Jensen sniffled. “What’s keeping you up? Work stuff?” he asked.
“Something like that,” Bo agreed.
Jensen nodded, scrunching up the material of Bo’s shirt in his fist. “Algorithms?”
“Kind of.” Bo cleared his throat, turning his head to press a kiss to the top of Jensen’s.
“What else?” Jensen asked through a yawn.
“I don’t know Jamal’s men well enough, well… at all, in order to bring myself to trust them to find the killer on their own,” Bo said.
“Which is why you, umm… There’s a word for this.” Jensen’s brow furrowed before he said, “Insist. That’s it. That’s why you insist on working so much on the videos?”
“More or less, yeah.”
“Jamal only hires the best.” Jensen tilted his head back to look at Bo, a small smile on his face. “Like me. The best.”
A smile tugged at one corner of Bo’s mouth. “Cute,” he commented. He kissed the younger man as Jensen laid a hand on his cheek. “I haven’t seen them do anything great. I can’t trust someone when they’ve done nothing to genuinely earn it.”
Jensen’s thumb traced the curve of Bo’s cheek as he lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “That’s because you don’t have any faith to put in other people.”
“Well, I could’ve told you that.”
Jensen snorted. “I know.” He patted Bo’s cheek, moving his hand back to the blonde’s stomach. “I don’t know, Eli. You worry too much.”
“Unfounded trust isn’t logically sound. This is,” Bo reminded.
Jensen shrugged. “Ever wondered what’d it be like to trust another person the way you trust Jamal?” he asked. “The man made you feel like shit for the longest time, Eli, and yet… you trust him like everything he says is law. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but do you think you could try to trust the people he employs even a fourth as much as you trust him?”
Bo considered this for a moment. “How about a thirty-second as much?”
Jensen chuckled. “That’s a start.” He pressed a kiss to Bo’s shoulder. “Nap. Too little time to sleep now.”
Bo smiled faintly. “Sure thing, love.”
7:02 AM; LOS ANGELES, BUSY BEAN COFFEE SHOP
Dominic ‘accidentally’ grazed Tamara’s hand in the line at the counter. He knew her appointment with her new favorite patient was at eight. If he was lucky, she was thinking about the patient while she was waiting for coffee.
A smile turned up one corner of Dominic’s mouth. She was definitely thinking about the patient.
Dominic couldn’t wait to find out more about him.
9:03 AM; LOS ANGELES, TAMARA CHRISTIAN THERAPY, PARKING LOT
Dominic watched Ashton Lawrence walk out of the building and head down the sidewalk. Dominic followed behind at a safe distance and a steady pace. He kept his hands in his pockets, his head bowed just a little less than usual. Although his earphones were pushed into his ears, he wasn’t listening to anything. Earphones simply made a person seem less suspicious. Everyone wore earphones or headphones. It made him blend in just a little more than before.
He followed Ashton all the way to the man’s house. While Ashton walked into his house, Dominic walked straight past it, like a good little stalker.
He walked the square stretch of road to get to the back of Ashton’s house. He reached out with a gloved hand and twisted the doorknob.
Dominic shook his head. A rookie mistake on Ashton’s part.
Dominic stepped into the house, shutting the door behind him. He twisted the lock and headed for the kitchen.
A floorboard creaked beneath his weight.
Ashton whirled around, a knife in hand. “Who the fuck are you?”
Dominic held up his hands. “I’m not here to hurt you,” he said, and for a reason he couldn’t explain, that felt like the truth. “W–we go to the same therapist. Tamara Christian. Ever since she started helping you, she stopped caring about me. She doesn’t try to help me anymore. She just wants our sessions to be over with. She’s bored… because of you.”
Ashton stared at Dominic for a moment. “You’re not going to hurt me?” Dominic shook his head. Ashton set the knife on the counter. “Miss Christian’s… the strangest therapist I’ve ever had.”
“She doesn’t really… treat my problems the way she should?” Ashton suggested. He raked a hand through his jet black hair, clearing his throat. “Do you ever feel like she’s taking advantage of you? My mom talks about that sometimes, but I didn’t really understand it until I met Miss Christian.”
“You live with your mother?”
Ashton shook his head. “She visits on the weekends to do my laundry and make food… stuff like that.”
“Hmm.” Dominic’s eyes searched the small kitchen before he looked back at Ashton. “How, exactly, does she take advantage of you?”
“We don’t really talk about my, uh, my issues when I’m there. We just… you know.”
“No, I don’t know,” Dominic said.
Ashton stared down at his hands as he nervously fiddled with them. “Sex?” he questioned.
Dominic’s brow furrowed. “She sleeps with you?” he asked. Ashton nodded. “Because you, like, initiated it?”
“Umm, I don’t think so, no.”
“She’s taking advantage of you,” Dominic whispered. “How long has she been doing that?”
“A few weeks, maybe? I dunno. Time kinda just, you know, blends together or whatever.”
“Do you like it?”
Ashton glanced up briefly before lifting his shoulders. “I’d rather talk about the things that are bothering me.”
“Have you told her that?”
“And she said?”
One corner of Ashton’s mouth scrunched up. “She just said I was cute,” he said.
“I know how to take care of our problems with Tamara,” Dominic said.
Ashton perked up like a lost puppy. “You do?”
“What is it?”
“You could get in trouble with the law if I told you that,” Dominic said. “Just, umm, don’t go back to her, okay? Cancel your appointments,” he said. “Can you do that?”
“I think so.”
Dominic nodded. “Good, good. Just stay away from her. She’s no good for you, okay?” Ashton nodded.
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